“Who do people say that the Son of Man is? They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah…” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Peter was absolutely sure. He knew that Jesus is the Christ, Son of the living God. More than 2000 years later, Jesus is asking us the same question: “Who do you say that I am?”
If we agree with Peter—and I certainly do—then the choices we make in life will inevitably line up with our Christian faith. In fact, it can’t be otherwise because sharing the joy of our faith is what mission is all about: going out into the world, just as Christ did, to witness God’s love through acts of compassion and charity… always giving more than we think we can… and by our actions, proclaiming salvation in Christ who gave us the gift of eternal life.
We proclaim Christ as the Son of God when we do things that seem next to impossible. I think of our heroic first responders and service workers who continue under life-threatening conditions because they are bound by conviction to honor their calling.
I think about the example of our fathers and Brothers on the frontlines of care, especially in the pandemic hotspots of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. They are bound by conviction, too—to love and serve the Lord by caring for others. Father Joseph Healy, M.M. tells me that the small Christian communities of East Africa where he serves are proving to be lifesavers in the age of COVID-19. These small groups, a new model for the Church in Africa, care for their members through prayer and the safe practice of good works. In Peru, Father Joseph Fedora, M.M. is restricted in his prison ministry. So now he accompanies inmates by phone or via the Internet. When love is the motivation, expressions of mission are always possible.
Friend, we proclaim Christ as the Son of God each time we witness the endless love he has for us. Peter was relentless in spreading the message. In fact, his life can be summed up in the final words of his second epistle: “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).” That is my prayer for you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 4th Sunday August 23, 2020
I know You know me, Lord,
who knit me together in
my mother’s womb and
filled my being with Your spirit.
Help me now, my God,
to know You more and more
each day as You direct my feet
along the right paths that lead
to Your kingdom on earth.
Together with Peter let me proclaim
“You are the Christ,
the Son of the Living God,
who is to come into the world.”
And let me proclaim with my life
what I profess with my lips:
Your love reaches to the heavens
and Your mercies are without end.
You Who live with the Father and Holy Spirit
One God, forever and ever.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso